LG, Netflix Team Up to Tout 4K Ultra HD OLED
LG officially took the wraps off its 2015 4K Ultra HD OLED flagship product – the 65-inch curved Model 65EG9600 – at a New York City-held event Wednesday, where it also teamed with Netflix to tout both OLED TVs’ image reproduction capabilities as well as the 4K streaming debut this Friday of the Netflix original series, Marvel’s Daredevil.
Excerpts from the series were used to demonstrate LG TVs’ black-level rendering, in particular. Tim Alessi, LG’s director of new product development, remarked, “It’s the screen’s ability to generate black that sets the attributes for all other picture attributes.”
Additional commentary about OLED was offered by an expert panel that, besides Alessi, included: Daredevil’s director of photography, Matt Lloyd; Netflix’s vice president of its Device Partner Ecosystem, Scott Mirer; Pete Putman, president of ROAM Consulting; and FOX 5 New York’s technologist, Shelly Palmer, who emcee’ed the discussion, opening it with the observation that “we’re in the Platinum Age of content production.”
The LG 65EG9600, which features Art Slim design at just 8.5mm deep, along with Harman Kardon audio, will begin selling in Best Buy this month at a price of $8,999, and will be followed into the market in the summer by a 55-inch model priced at $5,499.
LG also talked up the attributes of its webOS 2.0 platform, which is optimized for 4K streaming and is said to deliver a faster and more intuitive Smart TV experience. Version 2.0 is installed in all LG 2015 Smart TVs, and will be supplied as a free firmware upgrade in July to all 2014 LG Smart TVs already in households, said Alessi.
LG also showed off its Prime UHD TV, Model UF9500, to be available in a 65-inch screen size at $4,499. Two 3D UHD LED with Cinema Screen series models in 65- and 60-inch screen sizes will also be available as well as three UF7700 series UHD LED models that range down to the 60-inch $2,499 60UF7700. All of
the above carry Netflix’s distinction of being “Netflix Recommended TVs” by the content provider.
The panel was a discussion springboard for wide-ranging topics touching on the 4K streaming content evolution such as the challenges of getting content produced for Ultra HD 4K displays to work equally pleasingly on multiple screens beyond TVs, including smartphones and tablets. “It’s like building an airplane while flying it,” observed Putman, in noting the rapidly changing technological dynamics informing product development and improvements. Lloyd noted, however, that in content production, “if you work to the highest delivery standards, everything else will fall in for other platforms.”
Mirer commented that streaming content has an advantage over disc media in that “quality can be improved in real time, and better and better experiences can be delivered.
“Ultimately, consumers will decide whether physical media [such as Ultra HD (4K) Blu-ray, when it is introduced] still has legs,” Mirer said. “We don’t view it as a potential competitor. We don’t lie awake thinking about it.”